National City

Witness hailed a hero after SUV crashes through tire store in National City

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A pedestrian was seriously injured Tuesday when an SUV veered off a National City street and struck him before plowing into a business.

The woman driving the Toyota RAV4 lost control of it for unknown reasons in the 1300 block of East Plaza Boulevard, between Palm and Highland avenues at about 3:30 p.m., according to the National City Police Department.

The vehicle hit the man as he walked along the roadside, then crashed through a front window of a Discount Tire shop, winding up entirely inside the business, NCPD Sgt. Paul Hernandez told OnScene.TV.

Emergency personnel arrived to find the pedestrian bleeding heavily from a severe arm injury, Hernandez said.

There is a heavy blood trail that runs around 40 feet from the Discount Tire to a nearby Starbucks where the man with the severe arm injury collapsed and Nick James came to his rescue.

"There was a big incision here and it just kept on pumping a lot of blood, at least maybe a pint maybe two," James said describing the victim's injuries.

Despite no professional medical training, James managed to calm the man then applied a tourniquet made from a bandana to reduce the bleeding.

James happened to be at the right place at the best time because at 26, he's been homeless for the last eight years. Starbucks is where he charges his phone and gets his little dog Beemo out of the heat.

“He was just trying to get food for his nephew. He needed baby formula, that’s the sad part," James said about the victim. "He was more concerned about his family than his own wellbeing and that’s what sort of touched me." James said.

Investigators say the driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries and that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

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